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Wierdest thing about the Dodge Caliber

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This car is unlike anyone I've ever owned before - nevermind the fact that I've never even owned a front wheel drive car before! Still, there are some things that are just plain wierd about it, don't you think? What is the wierdest thing in your opinion?
 

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I agree as well about the CVT2. It's weird, but it was the selling feature of the car to me. I was impressed with it when I test drove an SXT, but now that I've got my R/T I must say that the CVT2 w/AutoStick is the feature that puts the biggest smile on my face. I've never been a fan of manual transmissions (working a clutch pedal is hard on my bad knees, especially in traffic) so this combo is the best of both worlds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
My own vote went to the lack of fluid level check for the tranny...

I've always done my own maintenance on my vehicles. If I were a service manager and someone brought a vehicle in with a blown transmission under warranty, the first question out of my mouth would be "when was the last time you checked the fluid?". Dodge has taken that out of the hands of the owner.

You could be low and never know it until it's too late. I just don't see the logic in this. Why not allow the owner to make sure his vehicle is in proper order? What, is the fluid radioactive or something?
 

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I think the plug in the tranny is a cost cutting thing dcx does if they can save the cost of the part say maybe 12-13 dollars that adds up to a lot of money over the cars production run they do the same thing on the 300 charger and magnum
 

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I vote that none of those things are weird.

Some things we just have to get used to.

Have you check your distributor cap lately? The points? etc.

I love the whole CVT thing!!! :)
 

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waynet said:
I think the plug in the tranny is a cost cutting thing dcx does if they can save the cost of the part say maybe 12-13 dollars that adds up to a lot of money over the cars production run they do the same thing on the 300 charger and magnum
I have heard that this design issue was implemented because many people were putting the wrong fluid and/or poor quality fluid in the vehicles.

When something went wrong, they denied any involvement and the company ate the bill. I figure if you really want to check your fluid, you’ll find a way regardless. Usually the people who go out of there way won’t make the same mistake others commonly would.

It works both ways when you think about it. If you had a Trans fluid leak and the transmission did ended up seizing as a result, it would be replaced free of charge. (Assuming you followed the maintenance scheduling)

Dan
 

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DodgeInfoCenter said:
I have heard that this design issue was implemented because many people were putting the wrong fluid and/or poor quality fluid in the vehicles.

When something went wrong, they denied any involvement and the company ate the bill. I figure if you really want to check your fluid, you’ll find a way regardless. Usually the people who go out of there way won’t make the same mistake others commonly would.

It works both ways when you think about it. If you had a Trans fluid leak and the transmission did ended up seizing as a result, it would be replaced free of charge. (Assuming you followed the maintenance scheduling)

Dan
Fair enough, if it is understood that an oil leak/low oil situation (yes regular check ups as per manual) that causes a transmission meltdown will be covered by Dodge. However, I am a little old school when comes to leaving town in a vehicle (fueling up, check oil, check tranny, maybe tire pressure) I do this to ensure I do not break down in the middle of the country, when by checking this stuff would have prevented the breakdown in the first place. I have ordered a SXT and eagerly awaiting its arrival. I trust (hope) the fluid levels are well sensored by the vehicle to give adequate warning of a problem. I surely do not want to rely on this "would be replaced free of charge" after 5 years or 100,000 Km's.:)
 

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BP_Brandon said:
Fair enough, if it is understood that an oil leak/low oil situation (yes regular check ups as per manual) that causes a transmission meltdown will be covered by Dodge. However, I am a little old school when comes to leaving town in a vehicle (fueling up, check oil, check tranny, maybe tire pressure) I do this to ensure I do not break down in the middle of the country, when by checking this stuff would have prevented the breakdown in the first place. I have ordered a SXT and eagerly awaiting its arrival. I trust (hope) the fluid levels are well sensored by the vehicle to give adequate warning of a problem. I surely do not want to rely on this "would be replaced free of charge" after 5 years or 100,000 Km's.:)
Honestly, I don’t blame you because I am the same way. I would rather do the maintenance myself rather then just assume everything is ok.

I had the idea of offering owners the ability to swap out the special “locked” components with more conventional units once the warranty periods expired. That way it wouldn’t be a hassle to give your vehicle a quick check up for those owners who chose to keep past the typical 2-3 year period.

I doubt the idea would fly but I think it has merit. I couldn’t see many people opting for this change unless they were getting under the vehicle themselves.

Dan
 

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I don't see how DMC can rationalize not allowing owners to access everything in their car. Maybe if it was a lease vehicle or some such they could do that... But a vehicle I own. No thanks. I'd get the non-locked components. If nothing else than to be able to affirm the work that was done to my vehicle.
 

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DodgeInfoCenter said:
I have heard that this design issue was implemented because many people were putting the wrong fluid and/or poor quality fluid in the vehicles.

When something went wrong, they denied any involvement and the company ate the bill. I figure if you really want to check your fluid, you’ll find a way regardless. Usually the people who go out of there way won’t make the same mistake others commonly would.

It works both ways when you think about it. If you had a Trans fluid leak and the transmission did ended up seizing as a result, it would be replaced free of charge. (Assuming you followed the maintenance scheduling)

Dan
Mine is leaking right now, I think. There's oil coming out and the engine oil level stays the same so I presume it's tranny fluid. The service manager at the first place I took to said there was no leak, just "residual Manufacturing oil". LOL He said the tranny uses ATF 4 which is red. He don't know squat. The CVT uses CVT + 4 which according to another dealers service manager is tinged green. He said the leak will appear clear but if you had a glass full of the stuff it would be real light green. He said they don't have a dipstick cause they fear the stupid owners will put the wrong oil in and make toast of the tranny. I hope it makes the 100 mile trip to the dealer tomorrow! I bet it's leaked a pint or 2 out already. There will be an aftermarket dipstick available soon I'm sure. I'll buy one. Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
GregoriusM said:
I vote that none of those things are weird.

Some things we just have to get used to.

Have you check your distributor cap lately? The points? etc.
:)
Points? I haven't owned a car with points since my '65 GTO, and even then it only took a year for me to get sick of burning them out and I swapped in an HEI.

My point (no pun intended) is this - ignition components typically aren't maintenance items with the exception of tune up parts. When the points would go bad in my GTO, it would run rough or stall. $3.50 later, a new set had it running fine. No big deal. Try running a car with half its motor oil or tranny fluid in it however, and now you're looking at much more than $3.50 to fix.

I'm not overly concerned about it right now, but eventually, warranties run out. Even extended warranties, and I plan on keeping this car a long time.

If that is true about dodge dealers just replacing transmissions when something goes wrong, that kinda concerns me. I was already concerned about the "first year jinx", I don't like that dodge can't service their own product.
 

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Probably, Dodge has not had the opportunity to train their service technicians on the CVT, which is a new beast for most of them. When they are trained, they will probably service them. Also, maybe, service parts are in short supply for now.
 

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Dakota29803 said:
Probably, Dodge has not had the opportunity to train their service technicians on the CVT, which is a new beast for most of them. When they are trained, they will probably service them. Also, maybe, service parts are in short supply for now.
Oh that's nice to know! LOL I'm taking mine in for a leak today. First time in they wouldn't work on it. I'm just leaving it there till it's fixed this time. They shouldn't sell 'em if they can't fix 'em.
 

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What difference does it make to you whether they fix it by replacing the whole transmission with a crate unit or tearing it apart in the shop and putting in new parts. Clearly replacing it will be faster. Personally I would rather get a factory new or refurbished transmission (as long as they have it in stock or by very fast shipping.)
 

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Dakota29803 said:
What difference does it make to you whether they fix it by replacing the whole transmission with a crate unit or tearing it apart in the shop and putting in new parts. Clearly replacing it will be faster. Personally I would rather get a factory new or refurbished transmission (as long as they have it in stock or by very fast shipping.)
Well, I just took my SXT in again for a leak which I suspect is the CVT. The service manager just kinda looked at it wondering what to do. I really don't think they know how to work on them yet. We'll see. Bob
 
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